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Jay Hoggard

Vibraphonist/composer Jay Hoggard’s music invokes bop, blues, ballads, gospel, and African marimba rhythms from his many recordings including Harlem Hieroglyphs. Please visit www.jayhoggard.com.

About Me

Vibraphonist-composer Jay Hoggard seamlessly blends gospel roots with African/Caribbean rhythms and blues, bop, and ballads. Born in Washington, DC, Jay Hoggard was raised in Mt. Vernon, New York in a religious family. At age 15, Jay began playing the vibraphone. Jay majored in music at Wesleyan University, where he also toured Europe and played at Carnegie Hall during his freshman year. In his junior year, he traveled to Tanzania to study East African xylophone music. Jay Hoggard has recorded 21 CDs as a leader, including Solo from Two Sides, Soular Power, Swing Em Gates, The Right Place, and Songs of Spiritual Love. Jay has performed with Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Tito Puente, Kenny Burrell, Dr. Billy Taylor, Bill Cosby, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Bobby Hutcherson, and Hilton Ruiz. Currently a professor of music at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Jay directs the Jazz Orchestra and has taught and mentored hundreds of students.

My Jazz Story

My father, Bishop J. Clinton Hoggard, took my family to Duke Ellington's premier of his Second Sacred Concert at Mother AME Zion Church in Harlem on April 23, 1967. When the band mounted the pulpit and Duke strode out to the piano, I experienced my own epiphany; here was the greatest band in the world performing in our church. And performing swinging themes dedicated to God. It was jazz and it was God’s music. Totally Awesome. At intermission, Dad took my brother Paul and me to the pastor’s office , which Duke was using as his dressing room. Dad said, "Duke, this is my oldest son. " I was awestruck. My 12 year old eyes fixated on this giant in a purple paisley evening jacket when he shook my hand and said: "Glad to meet you, son. Do you like the music?" I was inspired enough to begin studying the vibraphone. Fifty years since, I’m still a kid in awe.